1
vote
3answers
171 views

When to use 'ß' and 'ss'?

It was my understanding that 'ß' is a double 's' and can be written with as 'ss', especially for computer applications which don't offer the 'ß' character. However, why are some words with 'ss' not ...
11
votes
2answers
265 views

Why is »ß« substituted with »ss« rather than »sz«?

The letter ß is called Eszett, literally meaning s z. However, when the letter is not available (or when a word is in all caps), ß is almost always substituted by the digraph ss rather than sz (e.g. ...
14
votes
5answers
643 views

Is it an error when I do not use ß when it is necessary?

I'm living in a German-speaking country where ß is not used at all. Therefore, I do not use ß when I write German texts. Now I'm asking myself if this is technically a spelling error? Or is the ß more ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Is the eszett (ß) used in last names?

My grandparents last name is Reiss and I was wondering if they lived in Germany would this be spelled with the German ß (szett or sharp s)?
10
votes
3answers
321 views

What caused “ss” to gain popularity over “ß” in the 19th century?

From Google Books' Ngram Viewer: Notice that the "hasst" form gained popularity towards the end of the 19th century, only to drop again in favor of "haßt" later on. I noticed the same pattern on ...
21
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there a rule that dictates whether to use the eszett (scharfes S) or double s?

It's clear in the case of compound nouns, double s should be used e.g. Bundesstraße, but with other words I cannot see a pattern. To me it appears to be used somewhat randomly, e.g.: besser ...